A copy without calls to action (CTA), it’s like a car without gas.
Your car can be fully loaded, cheap and of good quality… But if there’s no gas in it, you won’t go anywhere.
And the same goes for your copy: no matter how entertaining it may be, you’ll never convert without a CTA.
Why? Because it helps your target audience to take action based on what they’ve just read.
This action might be to:
- Buy a product
- Buy a service
- Call for an appointment
- Register to vote
- Take a short quiz
- Get someone to share your content on social media
So you have to make sure that your content is “clickable”. And that’s what your call to action (CTA) is supposed to do.
Let’s see how we can turn your CTA into one that pushes your readers to move on to the next step …
First, a quick reminder …
But before going any further, what’s a CTA?
Your call to action is the part of your copy that tells your target audience what they should be doing once they click.
As Belinda Weaver explains, all CTA’s can be lumped into two categories:
- Button call to action: very short copy, 1-2 words long. (like “Buy now”)
- In-copy call to action: a sentence of the copy within or at the bottom of a page, or above or below a button.
Now, we’re all set !
Use strong action verbs
When writing your CTA, you don’t have to write a ton of copy in your ad. Considering the limited number of characters, you’ve got to get straight to the point.
Be clear and let your target audience know what you expect from them. Start your CTA with the desired action.
That should be something like:
- Promoting a commercial website? Start your CTA with words like “buy ” “shop,” or “order”
- Promoting a newsletter? Start your CTA with words like “download”, “sign up for …” or “subscribe”
Use words that elicit emotions
The job of your CTA is to make your reader say: “Wow, it’s definitely worth it. How can I get it? “
If your CTA is dull, then your audience won’t click.
If your CTA is enthusiastic, then your audience might react differently. Take a CTA like “Click right now and get your free bonus ”.
As you can see, you’re providing them with a quick benefit, and they still haven’t paid anything yet. Would you let such an opportunity pass by?
For someone looking to increase his retirement income, a CTA such as “Find out right now how to fund your dream retirement in 12 months ” will excite them about the short time needed to pocket enough money for their golden days.
People love money. But if they can make a fortune quickly, they’ll click on your ad.
And don’t forget exclamation points at the end of your CTA!!! That way, you’ll stir up your readers’ enthusiasm and it will give your CTA a conversational touch.
Remember: you’re trying to connect with your target audience.
Why should they click?
When you invite people to click, you must give them a serious reason why they should take the desired action.
After all, your reader will always wonder: “what’s in it for me ?”
If you don’t answer this question, then your CTA is a flop.
As Pamela Wilson highlights in her article, your copy must touch on the “magic five benefits”: wealth, health, success, peace of mind and relationship. Your readers must” get a better version of themselves” with your offer.
So, the trick is to tie up one of those benefits with your CTA. Let’s take an example:
“sign up today and get 3 courses for free! “
The reader finds both elements in your CTA: the action you want them to take (sign up today) and the reason why they should do so (3 courses for free).
Add some urgency
One of the best ways to get you more clicks is to mention something urgent, that might not come around again.
This can be a promotion, a discount or a bonus.
Here are a few examples :
- “Click here to claim for your free copy before it’s too late”
- “If you act now, you’ll get 3 free special bonuses.”
- “This offer will be closed on Sunday night.”
With this tactic, your target audience believes that, if they don’t click, they miss out on something big.
People hate that feeling. Nowadays, everyone fears of missing out on something important, like a phone call or a piece of information – that’s what we call FOMO. The same applies to sell stuff on the net. Make your offer unmissable.
The more urgent you make your CTA, the more it will be clicked.
You may already have received that kind of emails a thousand times. But it still works.
Reduce the risk of clicking
Before they click, your readers must be sure that they do the right thing. Okay, but how can you sweep their fears aside ?
Be specific in your CTA, add some details.
Let’s take an example: “sign up for our mastermind programme and download your courses in 1 minute”.
Sometimes, people want to get very quickly what they’ve paid for. If you let them know how long it’s going to take, then they’ll feel better about it.
Besides, some of your readers may have never heard from your offer before.
So, why don’t you add some social proof to your CTA? That will definitely boost your click-through rate.
Let’s take an example:
“Come and discover our tailor-made copywriting services. More than 1,500 professionals have already used them in 2017.”
Use numbers when possible
As you know, a CTA is centered on the benefits we’re offering.
But numbers are quite important to readers. When people scan through your copy, they respond better to numbers, and you can use them to your benefits.
Why? Because numbers are easier to read and make your CTA more specific and detailed. You may use numbers for several reasons. Let’s take a few examples :
- “Sign up for our mastermind programme and download your courses in 1 minute”.
- “Subscribe to the income bible and pocket up to 3,000$ each month hassle-free”
In both cases, you used numbers to let your reader know how long it’d take to sign up and how much they could make with your service.
You can still inform readers about your prices, but it can be a two-edged sword: either your reader will go further, or … he will run away.
Personally, I wouldn’t mention prices beforehand in my CTAs.
There are (definitely) better things that can be done with them. Why don’t you use numbers for promotions or discounts? This will definitely convert some of your readers.
Let’s take a few examples :
- “Get your iPhone 50% cheaper this month!”
- “Sign up today! 25% off your next visit.”
A CTA is more than an instruction
As you can see, a CTA is more than an instruction. It can really boost your click-through rate (CTR).
However, many writers don’t use CTA as they find it quite too pushy.
After all, their copy has a business purpose and there’s no reason why you should repeat it over and over again.
But that’s wrong.
Internet users tend to forget and skip information very quickly nowadays.
And if your copy is not backed up with CTAs, it might read like a simple promotional content. And nothing else.
Remember: your product might change the lives of many clients and have the benefits to prove it. However, it doesn’t mean that your reader will remember this after scanning through your copy.
And that’s the job of your CTA.